a peek inside the fishbowl

03 Jan, 2014

January 3

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Misc. life

The office is cold today, and I have a crapload of work to do. I’m wearing slippers and have thrown an old blanket under my feet. I have a feeling there will be a lot of coffee in the picture, not just to keep me awake, but to keep my fingers warm. There is ice on the window sills. It is deceptively sunny outside.

For some reason I’ve been really stuck on this New Year’s resolution thing, despite the fact that I have publicly stated that I don’t “do resolutions.” I can’t seem to empty my brain of the idea. After all, January is the WORST time of year to start something new. It’s cold. It gets dark early. The entire month is Generally Demotivating. But at the same time there’s a new calendar hanging on the back door, and it’s totally clean and wide open to opportunities and change. It’s hard to reconcile these two opposing feelings I am having right now.

I have this awful habit of reaching for my iPhone as soon as I wake up. I really hate it, because it makes me feel needy and addicted. The first thing I open is my email (I really don’t know why, because the only thing I will find there are newsletters and Spam) and the second thing is Facebook. I can easily open Facebook and waste 20 minutes seeing what my favourite people are up to, reading what they’re reading, watching what YouTube videos they’ve been watching etc.

As I went to grab my phone this morning I stopped myself and… got up. I decided I wasn’t going to waste 20 minutes in bed reading Facebook updates. I was going to spend my 20-minutes on Facebook WHILE I was on the treadmill. So that’s what I did.  I read stuff here and there, and also looked at 50 of the cutest things that happened in 2013 according to Buzzfeed (that was 10 minutes right there) and while I was doing that I was also taking a brisk walk.

And before I knew it, the 20 minutes was done. It was a pretty good way of starting the day, and it’s only twenty minutes. I figure if I can’t scrounge up and can’t invest TWENTY MINUTES in my physical and mental health I must be a pretty pathetic creature. For what it’s worth, this article gave be the added motivation I needed to do it, but also the fact that a month of eating cookies and chocolate has left me feeling pretty gross.

I’ll continue with my resolution-that’s-not-really-a-resolution until I am feeling better about myself.

12 Responses to "January 3"

1 | Mimi Golding

January 3rd, 2014 at 11:26 am


And where’d you get your treadmill? Doctors orders for one of us in the house.

2 | andrea tomkins

January 3rd, 2014 at 11:49 am


My inlaws gave it to us! It’s a few years old…

3 | Marianne

January 3rd, 2014 at 8:40 pm


I don’t think I have the coordination to walk on the treadmill and surf facebook at the same time. But my husband and I recently re-activated our Netflix account and I now have a long line of favourite shows and shows-to-be-explored and I’m thinking they would pair well with time spent on the treadmill. I just need to find a set of earphones compatible with the tablet, because the volume doesn’t turn up loudly enough to be heard above the whirring of the treadmill!

4 | Catherine

January 4th, 2014 at 9:17 am


All too relatable. When it gets really busy, I don’t even bother rolling out of bed before signing on and getting to work. That’s the trouble with at home freelancing…it is way to easy to just GO. Good on your for taking that time, and combining it with facebook fun.

5 | Anne Walzak

January 5th, 2014 at 8:35 am


Hi Ms Fish
A few years ago I was at a conference and one of the motivatioanal speakers (author of Chicken Soup for the Soul)
Talked about INTENTIONS. And invited everyone to list 100 intentions and email them to him and he would email them back in a year. My dear friend Laura and I, wrote out our intentions (all 100) then read them to each other. Over the year we both journaled (one intention per page) any action on the intention even if it was to just consider it, or reading an article. At the end of the year we read out our journals to each other. It feels much more real and easier on my judging self. Easing into change is always easier and gets good results!

6 | Life of K

January 5th, 2014 at 11:01 am


That’s a great idea!

I’m like you – I don’t make resolutions. I prefer goals BUT this time of the year just begs for resolutions. So I think of ways I’d like to do things differently but also all the little changes I’ve made already. This is a little change that will amount to something big!

7 | Lisa from Iroquois

January 5th, 2014 at 9:39 pm


I love your idea of treadmill and facebook. Before my Ipad I discovered I could tie my lap top to the top of the treadmill and I started watching nature videos while walking but I’ve sorta lapsed. I love your idea. I’ll try it tomorrow. Thank you.

8 | A peek inside my closet, and promises I’ve made to myself >> a peek inside the fishbowl

January 7th, 2014 at 1:42 pm


[…] consideration if I want to make changes. For example, I’ve been pretty good with my “treadmill before Facebook” idea. It totally works for me, just like a carrot works better than a […]

9 | My tips for treadmill success >> a peek inside the fishbowl

January 15th, 2014 at 10:36 am


[…] I’ve been doing this treadmill thing for a couple of weeks, and, good news, I haven’t quit yet. I don’t want to sound like […]

10 | I am FitBitten! A wee FitBit review and a way to add more steps to your daily count! >> a peek inside the fishbowl

February 18th, 2014 at 4:51 pm


[…] friends post about it online. I thought it would be a good thing to try in regards to that “Treadmill before Facebook” promise I made to […]

11 | A FitBit update! >> a peek inside the fishbowl

May 8th, 2014 at 1:19 pm


[…] a minimum of 20 minutes every day, and, amazingly, I have. Some of you might remember the “treadmill before Facebook” requirement that I had to create for myself to meet this goal. (Basically Facebook is the […]

12 | A bit about resolutions, and taking care of ourselves >> a peek inside the fishbowl

November 21st, 2014 at 10:58 am


[…] minimum of 20 minutes on the treadmill every day. The reason this worked is because I use Facebook as the carrot to get me there every morning. (Hey, whatever works, […]

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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